John Pitt Kennedy

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Lieutenant-Colonel John Pitt Kennedy (1796–1879) was a British military engineer, agricultural reformer and civil servant.

Kennedy was born at Carndonagh, County Donegal, Ireland and was educated at Foyle College, Derry, and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, becoming lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1815. Four years afterwards, he was sent to Malta, and thence to Corfu. He superintended the construction of a canal at Lefkada (1820), served next under Sir Charles Napier at Cephalonia (building lighthouses, roads, and quays) and was sub-inspector of militia in the Ionian Islands (1828–31).

During a spell in India he met Sir Charles Napier and when he returned to Ireland he set up agricultural schools designed to improve the economy of the country. One was at Cloghan near Ballybofey, and another at Eglinton near Derry. He became a farm manager and married Anna, daughter of Sir Charles Styles, who owned large estates around Ballybofey, in 1838. Kennedy′s methods of improving the condition of the agricultural classes are indicated by the title of his work, Instruct; Employ; Don't Hang Them: or Ireland Tranquilized without Soldiers and Enriched without English Capital (1835). He wrote several others of similar nature, and as inspector general for Irish education (1837), as secretary to the Devon Commission (1843), and to the Famine Relief Committee (1845), his labours were unceasing in behalf of his native land.[1]

He returned to the army in 1849 as military secretary to Sir Charles Napier and accompanied him to India, where he built the military road named after him and extending from Kalka via Simla to Kunawur and Tibet. He published British Home and Colonial Empire (1865–69), as well as a number of technical works relating to his Indian career. He died in 1879 and was buried in Highgate Cemetery in London.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Profile, historyofdonegal.com